Holiday Greetings
Winter wonderland. 8:20 PM. Photo: JH.
New Yorkers learned yesterday early afternoon that the Transit Workers were going to resume work and the city should begin to be moving along with less angst and consternation by the time you read these words. It is a great relief to millions of us especially those of us who depend totally on public transportation to get back and forth to our jobs. New York runs so smoothly, vehicular gridlock and all, thanks to our public transit system and the people who run it, that we most often take it for granted.

The cabs were very good in picking up the slack although their price was not for everyone. Some cabbies were gouging and others were bending over backwards to help. As it always is in life, it depended entirely upon the personality of the cabbie. Late Wednesday night, early Wednesday morning I returned home from Bungalow 8 by cab. Bungalow 8 is way down on the West Side. My cabbie took the West Side Highway and crossed Manhattan west to east on 79th Street and I was home in less than fifteen minutes. A long cab trip, he charged me the regular unmetered ten bucks. I gave him twenty and actually it would have cost me more than that had it been a metered ride. But it was late; he’d had a long day and just wanted to be a good guy.

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Yesterday morning I was picked up by a cab who told me it would be “two zones” and therefore $15 to go thirty blocks to 57th and Fifth. Two blocks later he stopped and picked up another customer who was going to 53rd and First, deciding he’d take her to her destination first. So I thought, the hell with it and got out, hailing another cab. (I noticed the lady who was going to join me in the first cab also got out at the first light, so he ended up with zero). My second cabbie charged me the standard ten bucks. I gave him the fifteen, feeling in the holiday spirit.

Coming back from lunch late this afternoon, I got a cab in front of Bloomingdale’s who already had one passenger and who a few feet later picked up a third. Ten bucks each: he did very well taking us all to the same general destination. Although, as you can imagine, ten here, fifteen bucks there, cab rides soon became prohibitively expensive. So now we’ll go back to the meter and the buses and the subways which are still, at two bucks a ticket, the best buy in New York.

On this last day before Christmas Eve,
we are running our traditional page of some of the annual holiday greetings that we’ve received from friends and readers. As is now the fashion, Holiday cards feature families, little ones and our four-footed loved ones and they all give the heart and soul some much needed warmth of glad tidings and affection. Take a good look at the loveliness and innocence amongst the children and the animals and remind yourself that that is also what life has to offer, to give and to restore.

JH and I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and Blessings of Peace, Love and Happiness for all in the New Year.

December 23, 2005, Volume V, Number 213


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/